What does “after God’s own heart” mean?
We know this part of the verse: “I have found David…a man after My own heart.” (Acts 13:22a NKJV)
I’ve always wondered about this: after God’s own heart. What does that mean?
After in Greek means about; at home; toward; of that which so joins itself to one thing as to separate itself from another; according to; in accordance with; after the manner; as; like; seek after; with; wish for; along; in; touching or as touching; in respect of, etc.
Aren’t those wonderful thoughts to add to God’s heart?
As one after God’s own heart, David was a man who was not rebellious, who was devoted, pious, humble, sought forgiveness for his failing God, who worshiped God, opposed idolatry, did the will of God, and kept His commandments.
The Word says, “David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.” (1 Kings 15:5 NKJV)
Because of integrity, Matthew Henry said David was “one on whom the image of God is stamped, and therefore one in whom God is well pleased and whom he approves.”
Therefore, integrity of heart pleases God, is in accordance with His own heart.
But what is integrity?
The dictionary says integrity is the quality of having strong moral principles, honor, uprightness, honesty, sincerity, virtue, purity, etc.
The Hebrew word for integrity is tamim, which also means entire, complete, sound, whole, unimpaired, innocent, blameless, sincerity, intact (not cut up in pieces), without blemish.
Integrity: a heart without blemishes.
Who or what, does the Bible say, possesses it?
The Bible says…
*God’s work and His way have it. His “work is perfect” (Deut. 32:4 NKJV) and “His way is perfect.” (2 Sam. 22:31 NKJV) Same word tamim.
*Noah had it, “a just man, perfect in his generations.” (Gen. 6:9 NKJV)
*God told Abraham to be perfect in Genesis 17:1.
*The lamb offered for the first Passover (in Egypt) was to be perfect, as were the other sacrifices to God. Without blemishes.
*God withholds nothing good “from those whose walk is blameless.” (Ps. 84:11b NIV)
*God told His people to avoid idolatrous practices, to be “blameless before the Lord your God.” (Deut. 18:13 NKJV)
The Greek word for integrity does not occur in the New Testament, though some versions use it, but there are equivalents, such as sincerity, truth, purity, being honest, genuine, etc.
The New Testament does use a word for perfect, which means finished, lacking nothing necessary to completeness. Jesus said we are to be perfect, “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matt. 5:48 NKJV)
What is the rest of the opening verse?
If we then desire to be like the Father, are we Davids? Are we pursuing God’s heart? Are we going after it?
Unfortunately, we ignore the rest of the opening verse: “who will do all My will.” (Acts 13:22b NKJV)
God said David “kept My commandments and who followed Me with all his heart, to do only what was right in My eyes.” (1 Kings 14:8 NKJV)
If we have integrity, do we follow after God with all our heart? Do we obey God’s will? Do we love His Word and love it enough to obey it?
Are you “one on whom the image of God is stamped, and therefore one in whom God is well pleased and whom he approves”?
Are you after God’s own heart? Pursuing it with a heart without blemishes?
Intergrity of heart: does yours please the Lord?
May your heart always seek after God’s own heart…Lynn